Poland's third-largest city grew fabulously wealthy in the 19th century on the backs of its massive textile mills – and the thousands of workers who toiled inside them.
Southern Podlasie (pod-lah-sheh) fills a large swath of northeastern Poland, hogging much of the country's border with Belarus.
The northern stretch of Podlasie, known as Suwalszczyzna, is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with large swaths of pristine forest and, towards the north, rugged hills and deep valleys.
Białystok (byah-wis-tok) is Podlasie's metropolis and a large, busy city for these parts.
Augustów (aw-goos-toof) is a small but appealing town straddling the Netta River as it enters Lake Necko.
Płock (pwotsk), dramatically perched on a cliff high above the Vistula, has a long history and a spruced-up old centre.
Białowieża National Park
The Białowieża (byah-wo-vyeh-zhah) National Park (Białowieski Park Narodowy) was established in 1921 and is Poland's oldest national park.
Northern & Eastern Mazovia
For much of the year Łowicz (wo-veech) is close to slipping into a permanent coma, but when Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) comes around, it's the place to be.
Suwałki (soo-vahw-kee) is the largest town in the region, but lacks Augustów's charm and immediate proximity to lakes and rivers.
A sleepy town with a splendid castle and the longest market square in the country, Pułtusk (poow-toosk) is a fine place to stop for a few hours if your travels happen to lead you this way.
Like so many of the region's sleepy towns, Tykocin's (ti-ko-cheen) importance lies in its past.
Narew National Park
The Narew National Park is just as interesting as Biebrza, but is not as geared towards visitors.
Wigry National Park
On the northern fringes of Augustów Forest is arguably the most beautiful lake in Podlasie.
Sejny, 30km east of Suwałki, is the last Polish town before the Ogrodniki border crossing to Lithuania, 12km beyond.